NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.

New York bail reform debate deepens among state Democrats

February 13, 2020 | Associated Press
After weeks of facing heavy criticism from law enforcement over New York’s bail law, state Senate Democrats are considering a proposal to give judges more discretion over who is released from jail before trial.

Los Angeles Uses Tech to Wipe Out 66,000 Old Pot Convictions

February 13, 2020 | Associated Press
Los Angeles County prosecutors are joining other district attorneys to use technology to wipe out or reduce as many as 66,000 old marijuana convictions years after California voters broadly legalized the drug.

Judge denies Teamsters motion to lift AB 5 injunction

February 13, 2020 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In an order filed on Monday, U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez said the Teamsters failed to demonstrate how the preliminary injunction, which bars the state from automatically categorizing motor carriers as employees unless they pass a three-part "ABC" test, will "irreparably injure" the state or the labor union.

Judicial Profile: Alameda County Judge Eumi Lee

February 13, 2020 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) While her father’s work involved cleaning up radioactivity, Lee’s job today is to decide whether people get a clean slate. She oversees what’s known as a clean slate calendar in Alameda County. Law violators, who have typically completed probation, approach her with a request to have their criminal records expunged.

A bail case is on the March calendar

February 11, 2020 | At the Lectern
The Supreme Court’s March calendar will have five cases, including one of two pending high-profile bail cases that could be affected by new legislation, which in turn could be overturned by a referendum that will be on the November ballot.

Ca. Supreme Court Won't Review Quadruple-Slaying Case

February 11, 2020 | mynewsLA
The California Supreme Court refused Tuesday to review the case of a man convicted of opening fire at a memorial event at a Valley Village restaurant, killing four people and wounding two others in April 2010.

Ca. Supreme Court Won't Review Murder Case Against Duarte Man

February 11, 2020 | mynewsLA
The California Supreme Court refused Tuesday to review the case against a Duarte man convicted of killing a neighbor, shooting at another man and pointing a gun at several other people before leading sheriff’s deputies on a chase in August 2016.

CHHS, Judicial Council Pilots Look At Data Flow, Access

February 10, 2020 |
(Subscription required) In two separate pilots, the California Health and Human Services Agency and the Judicial Council of California are looking at how they can do more to unify data, make it securely available and use it in a more timely fashion.
Opinion: Fewer prisoners, bigger prison budgets

Opinion: Fewer prisoners, bigger prison budgets

February 11, 2020 | Orange County Register
Clearly, there is work to do. Repeated audits have flagged problems with the state prison system’s rehabilitation programs. local jurisdictions haven’t necessarily made use of funds from AB109 for intended purposes. And it’s apparent that more must be done to address the problems of drug addiction, mental health and recidivism.

Union-backed law reaps payments for California employees — state gets a cut, too

February 11, 2020 | San Francisco Chronicle
A 2004 California law that allows workers to sue their employers in the name of the state for wage and labor violations netted the state more than $88 million from businesses last year and has increased their compliance with workplace laws, according to a report released Tuesday by advocacy groups.

California Federal Court Issues Detailed Decision Explaining Its Preliminary Injunction to Block Anti-Arbitration Law

February 10, 2020 | The National Law Review
In her order, Judge Mueller found that the business groups that had filed suit were likely to prevail on their argument that AB 51 is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). And she found that, absent an injunction, AB 51 would cause irreparable harm to business groups not only by affecting the California employment market, but by exposing businesses to criminal charges.

Teamsters protest AB 5 injunction in truckers spat with AG

February 10, 2020 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Teamsters have asked a Southern District judge to suspend a preliminary injunction on Assembly Bill 5, but a response filed by the California Trucking Association asks why the union, an intervenor-defendant, is asking for the suspension instead of the state defendant itself.

Legislature’s new procedures draw 181 workplace misconduct complaints in the past year

February 10, 2020 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The missive was sent Thursday, reporting on work by the Legislature's new Workplace Misconduct Unit investigating sexual harassment and other types of misconduct and discrimination. The letter stated that since it was formed, "Legislative employees have felt more comfortable with the improved process for dealing with workplace misconduct issues."

Another Ninth Circuit case that didn’t quite make it to the Supreme Court

February 09, 2020 | At the Lectern
The Ninth Circuit often makes use of rule 8.548, which allows certain courts outside the California state judicial system to ask the Supreme Court to decide questions of California law. The Supreme Court is almost always obliging. Last year, the federal appellate court sought help in five cases and the Supreme Court agreed to answer questions in four of them.

An Algorithm That Grants Freedom, or Takes It Away

February 07, 2020 | New York Times
The algorithms are supposed to reduce the burden on understaffed agencies, cut government costs and — ideally — remove human bias. Opponents say governments haven’t shown much interest in learning what it means to take humans out of the decision making. A recent United Nations report warned that governments risked “stumbling zombie-like into a digital-welfare dystopia.”

Judge Blocks California Ban on Mandatory Arbitration

February 07, 2020 | Courthouse News Service
A week after striking California’s attempt to ban mandatory arbitration in employment cases, a federal judge on Friday highlighted how lawmakers approved the flawed labor law despite multiple warnings from lawyers and a past governor that it was on shaky ground.
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